Employers’ involvement in Higher Vocational Education and the local labour market’s skills supply

A woman standing in front of a whiteboard.
Jason Goodman, Unsplash

Higher Vocational Education (HVE) was established in 2009. Since then, it has grown more significant with an increasingly important role for the Swedish labour market. As more and more employers collaborate locally with education providers to design and run HVE programmes, this state-funded post-secondary form of education has become and increasingly important source of skills supply. 

This project examines employers’ involvement in HVE programmes and highlights the employers' perspectives on and experiences of cooperation with education providers to secure their supply of skills. An interview study examines how these collaborations can be organised, i.e., how responsibilities and tasks are distributed between employers and education providers and in what ways employers contribute to the training in practical terms. The study also examines how employers describe their motivations for engaging in a HVE and what possible effects they have experienced in their business as a result of their involvement.

In the study employers who are members of management boards for various HVE programmes are interviewed. To reach employers who can contribute with experience from both initiatives for programmes and programme start-up, as well as ongoing education and its results in the form of graduated students, they have at least three years of experience in collaboration with education providers. Employers are a mix of both private and public employers, and they work with both private and public education providers. This variation is relevant because private and public organisations are governed and run based on different principles. The employers interviewed are in different parts of the country, both in smaller towns and in larger cities. This is relevant as different types of municipalities constitute different labour market contexts and have different local business climates.


This project is funded by the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU). IFAU is a state-funded research institute that, in addition to internal research on labour market and labour market policy, education reform and social security, also annually distributes funds for research on the functioning of the labour market and reforms in the education system. For more info: www.ifau.se